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THE STATE AND AFRICAN INDEPENDENT CHURCHES IN BOTSWANA
A statistical and qualitative analysis of the application of the 1972 Societies’ Act

PART I

Wim van Binsbergen

homepage | index page Botswana state and churches | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

1. Introduction: The Botswana post-colonial state between coercion and consensus[1]

One of the principal puzzles in the analysis of the state, wherever and whenever, lies in the relationship between power and consensus: in the dialectics between on the one hand the exercise of power — often of a coercive and physically violent nature — by an elite who have appropriated state power and serve their own parochial interests by means of the state, and on the other the inclusive, super-personal nature of the state, which allows it (by ideological, symbolic and ceremonial means, as well as by extending concrete services and benefits outside the immediate elite circle) to be perceived by the general population of state subjects as worthy of support and identification. Study of the post-colonial Botswana state[2] is very interesting because the all-pervading and (until recently) quite successful insistence on consensus, and a level of coercion and physical violence which, for contemporary African states and especially for the Southern African subcontinent, is reassuringly low, especially for a country that shares a long border with one of the most violent states of the modern world, the Republic of South Africa. In Botswana, structures of consultation and arbitration are present and active at all levels of public and private life, and where they do not exist they can be seen to emerge almost by generatio spontanea. It is common for such structures to cut across socio-political, cultural, ethnic and religious boundaries, so that the formal structure of political life is often dissolved in complementary opposition, where complementarity is stressed at least as much as opposition. In mid-August 1990 a major conference was organized in Botswana’s second town, Francistown, at which the opposition parties were to unify in preparation for a final blow to the ruling party — the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which won the 1989 national elections virtually unopposed; however the conference had to be called off because the leaders had preferred to attend a private meeting with the President of the Republic.[3] Such an event is typical of Botswana national politics, and passes without sarcastic comment. Open all-out confrontation is against the grain of Botswana public life — and the prevalence of sorcery beliefs and sorcery practices among the Tswana today suggests that this trait is reflected in the private and domestic sphere.

                        ‘Peacefulness’ is very much part of the Batswana’s public self-image, and is claimed to have been just that since pre-colonial times. One of the reasons why the Kalanga ethnic group in that country stands apart and makes the others uneasy is that among them confrontation and conflict are more highly appreciated in their historic self-image and, to some extent, in their actual behaviour and expressions today.[4] However, it is unrealistic to attribute the unmistakably consensual orientation in the Botswana state and politics primarily to a hypothetical persistence of pre-colonial cultural patterns. For before such a claim could be made we would need a thorough assessment of social transformations in Botswana over the past hundred years: eighty years of Protectorate status, a longer existence as a South African labour reserve, the successful management of Tswana ethnic and linguistic hegemony in the colonial and post-colonial context, the vast opportunities for capital accumulation and mass consumption in a context of diamond and cattle industry since independence (1966), and the strategies of the state elite to inconspicuously serve their interests under an populist idiom of austerity, integrity, rural emphasis, pastoralism and development. While such an assessment is clearly outside our present scope, it is likely to reveal contemporary emphasis on consensus in Botswana as an active (and increasingly disputed) response to twentieth-century concerns rather than as pre-colonial continuity.

                        In this connexion not only alleged historical continuity but also an alleged rural and traditionalist orientation plays and important role in Botswana’s official self-image, as propagated in countless governmental statements at home and abroad. Botswana is seen as an essentially rural and pastoral, traditionalist country. The economic boom after independence, caused by such factors as the diamond and meat industries, the customs union with South Africa and hence opportunities for sanctions dodging industry, and finally the economic opportunities that opened up after the termination of the war of liberation with Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980, has created impressive affluence in the country. Class formation is in an advanced stage and the state’s liberalist and capitalist inclinations further this process; on the other hand, the same state’s populist and democratic orientations have so far ensured that a substantial portion of national wealth is used for the benefit of the general population — not so much by individual salaries and purchasing power but by collective state services especially in the medical and educational sphere. Urbanization is frowned upon as somehow going against the grain of the national ideal of an integrated, stable rural society, but again the rule of law (specifically the freedom of movement as guaranteed under section II.14 of the Constitution of Botswana),[5] and the forbidding example of nearby South Africa with whose socio-political conditions many if not most adults Batswana[6] have first-hand experience, have prevented the institution of effective urbanization-curbing measures. In fact, Botswana’s policy of providing low-cost urban housing has been exemplary, even if it theoretically runs on a the basis of non-subsidy for growth — through repayable loans to individual house owners and service levies charged to them; both types of payment have run into huge arrears in recent years. Botswana used to be exceptional among African countries in that concentrated, ethnically not entirely homogeneous towns comprising thousands of inhabitants have been a feature of pre-colonial society during the nineteenth century. But even the so-called ‘tribal capitals’, which under colonial indirect rule retained many of their pre-colonial functions, have continued to be regarded as rural and as a central part in the traditionalist self-image. Today, this self-image is very far from social reality. Not only have new towns emerged (including the country’s two largest towns of Gaborone and Francistown, and mining towns like Selebi-Phikwe, Orapa and Jwaneng), but also have the tribal capitals by recent influx of immigrants and changes in their administrative and economic functions taken on more and more urban features in the ordinary sense. As a result more than 25% of the country’s population can now be said to live in an urban environment. The spread of wealth and modern amenities, by combined government and individual initiative, and facilitated by good roads and transport facilities and by the involvement of a considerable proportion of the population in circulation between urban and rural residences (for salaried employment, education, rural production) both within Botswana and (to a decreasing extent) across its South African border, has meanwhile meant that (in terms of life style including modern mass consumption; patterns of kinship, residence and reproduction; and socio-cultural including religious orientation) traits which are commonly associated with the Southern African urban environment have begun to penetrate the rural scene and are rapidly transforming the latter. While this adds a relative note to the distinction between urban and rural in Botswana, the distinction certainly retains some value.

                        Through its popular support, through its symbols and ceremonies, its institutions, their legal basis, their personnel and material assets, the state generates and exercises massive power. But it is not the only institution in society to do so, and while part of the state’s ideology is that it sees itself at the top of a pyramid of organization and control which theoretically encompasses the total society, in fact it often has to engage in interaction and negotiation with other foci of power which are generated in the local civil society and which, far from immediately and whole-heartedly giving in to the presumptions of state supremacy, engage the state in a complex and fascinating process of negotiation, legitimation, co-optation, challenge, manipulation, exploitation, conditional support, and whatever other options human politics may entail.[7]

                        By virtue of having internalized the ideals concerning statehood and consensus as sketched above, but perhaps primarily as a strategy aimed at perpetuating popular support and outside international acclaim and donor support, the Botswana state elite in its interaction with other, potentially rival foci of power outside the state, enters this game with a serious handicap: the more oppressive, openly undemocratic, violent options are largely barred. What remains is consultation; insistent and authoritarian persuasion; co-optation in exchange for substantial material and immaterial gains; a legalistic emphasis on laws, rules and procedures which because of the legal authority (in the Weberian sense; Weber 1969: 324f) they carry — in this highly literate and salariate society — seem to derive from an objective, impersonal source transcending individual and class power; the production and monopolizing of consensus-generating symbolism and discourses, e.g. in terms of development, the common good, the future, freedom, independence; and the adoption of such symbolic and ceremonial material as may already be available in the civil society, where it serves as condensation cores for the crystallization of non-statal power — images of parental authority derived from rural kinship patterns, of royal authority derived from traditional political authority (which has remained of considerable importance in Botswana); of communality, decency, purity and redemption as available in traditional and Christian religious idioms such as dominate in complex interplay the consciousness of the citizens of modern Botswana.

                        Christian churches are only one of the non-statal foci of power, along with chiefs, trade unions, traditional diviner/priests and their organizations, other professional and recreational organizations, the specialists at symbolic production in such fields as literature, the arts, the university and the media, village elders, etc.

                        Viewed under this angle, the situation of the Independent churches in Botswana is part of the jigsaw puzzle indicated in a recent book by the political scientist Picard:

 ‘Much is made of the fact that Botswana is one of the few remaining multiparty [ sic ] states in Africa. Its formal pattern of political competition closely resembles that in North America and Western Europe and suggests a uniqueness to political developments in this small southern African country that is only partially warranted. Some academics and journalists focus on Botswana’s “democracy” to an extent that borders on “Botswanaphilia,” a pattern of infatuation not dissimilar to the “Tanzaphilia” of a decade ago.

              (...) What I am suggesting is the need to go beyond the formal assumptions of a multiparty [ sic ] political system in order to understand how the ruling BDP uses the advantages of its incumbency and the administrative mechanisms of the state to maintain its predominant political position within the country.’ (Picard 1987: 172-173).[8]

                                A sophisticated study of the post-colonial state in Botswana would look not only at its formal organization, legal structure, class interests, structures of participation and decision in the sphere which is explicitly defined as that of politics, — it would also, and perhaps primarily, seek to study the processes of accommodation and confrontation between the state and non-statal foci.

                        Several dangers beset such a study. That of reification is perennial, and can only be overcome once we realize that the state must be both a class instrument (the anti-reification antidote) and an expression of class-transcendent unity and legitimacy at the same time (the aspect which allows us to speak of ‘the state’ without having to apologize all the time for our reification). Another is that the presumptions of state power are so contagious that one is often tempted to view the non-statal foci as essentially secondary to the state, so that they could only be studied in a context of politics and state hegemony. Much of the social science of Africa in the 1980s can be reviewed in the light of this political overstatement, which fails to appreciate the relative autonomy of the non-statal foci as well as the potentially very different nature of their power and power bases, as compared with the state; at the same time such a review would reveal (e.g. by reference to the work of Bayart or Geschiere)[9] the tremendous heuristic power of precisely this overstatement. The most exciting and profound study of such actors as chiefs, diviners and mothers, or of such organizations as churches, or of such a diffuse cosmological and actional complex as sorcery, is not necessarily the one which concentrates on the ways all these non-statal elements in contemporary African society are captured by the state, or can be argued to challenge the state — for before we turn to the state we should try to understand the internal cultural and organizational logic of these non-statal elements. However, a state-centred approach is still much to be preferred to one which relegates the confrontation between the state and rival foci of power to mere pragmatic issues — e.g. (cf. Lagerwerf 1982: section 3.2) concern about African Independent leader’s financial operations, possibly irresponsible healing methods, or alleged sexual debauchery — without making explicit that these foci by their very existence, and not just by these accidental issues which may be remedied, represent an alternative power the state cannot fail to respond to. Another danger is that of extrapolation on an insufficient empirical basis: while the social and historical sciences have considerable experience in the study of these non-statal foci, the subtleties of their interaction with the state often elude direct documentary or quantitative study, while insights gained from participant observation may be profound but difficult to generalize. A final danger lies in the temptation to jump to theoretical conclusions in a field were, due to the diffuse and transitory nature of the phenomena and the lack — as yet — of a common paradigmatic focus, enquiry is necessarily still exploratory.[10]

                        This sets the framework for the present study. It seeks to illuminate the interaction between one category of churches, African Independent ones, and the post-independent Botswana state. It does so with an emphasis on statistical and documentary data, as an expression of my growing conviction that theory is easier to supply, and to discard, than empirical data. Considering the wealth of penetrating case studies of, particularly, individual African Independent churches in Southern Africa, there is a need for quantitative overviews, even if for the time being they still have to be based on incomplete data. Churches in Southern Africa today exist in a complex, highly urbanized mass society, and in that context the rich and deep insights of the case study based on participant observation needs to be complemented (but, needless to say, can never be replaced by) statistical analysis which helps us to situate individual churches within broad societal patterns, and to appreciate the range of variation that exists.

                        The paper consists of two main sections: an attempt to sketch a quantitative profile of these religious organizations where earlier accounts have been limited to more or less fragmentary case studies; and, once having cleared this ground, an assessment of these churches’ specific interaction with the state in one particular locus which the state has created specifically for that purpose: the institution of the Registrar of Societies, as defined under the Botswana Societies Act of 1972.[11]

                        In the social-scientific and historical literature on Southern Africa, studies of churches have formed a prominent topic ever since Bengt Sundkler published his classic on Bantu Prophets in South Africa (1949).[12] Such themes as social change in the subcontinent; its specific forms of labour migration, urbanization, participation in capitalist relations of production, and the growth of political protest; the African population’s ideological and organizational responses to these processes in a fascinating variety of Christian and Christian-inspired idioms — primarily in the form of African Independent churches and the formulation of Black Theology and African Theology; the selective incorporation and transformation of historical religious forms in the context of Christianity; the confrontation, acquiescence and co-optation, as the case may be, between these religious forms and the pre-colonial, colonial, post-colonial and minority-regime states of the subcontinent — these various strands come together in what must be one of the world’s most exciting regions for the study of the interaction between ‘power’ and ‘prayer’.

                        The insistence on the ‘African’ element in the designation of the category of religious organizations to be discussed in this paper is more than perfunctory or redundant. Thus in my present research area, the Independent Church of Francistown is a mainstream Protestant body closely affiliated to the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa, and serving the religious and social needs of a few dozen Afrikaner families living on or hailing from freehold farms in the immediate surroundings of Francistown.[13] However worthy of respect and scholarly analysis, such a church falls outside our present scope — not because any somatic categorization (as ultimately implied in the term ‘African’, and in the distinctiveness of a church like the Independent Church of Francistown) would in itself be valid in social science analytical discourse, but because such categorization, as employed by the participants of the local society, informs their own perceptions, choices and interactions to a very large degree — as it does that of a very large (but hopefully declining) section of population of the Southern African subcontinent in general.

                        Much of the general concepts and emerging conclusions of this vast literature would seem to apply to Botswana which, however, in itself has only received a spotted coverage in this respect. No published academic study is available on mainstream, cosmopolitan[14] churches in that country. Independent churches in Botswana have received attention from such writers as Grant (1971; a study of conflict between chief and church in the tribal capital of Mochudi in the colonial period, Lagerwerf (1982; an exploratory study of women in selected independent churches), Werbner 1985 (reprinted 1989; a highly formal and abstract study contrasting three modes of imagery in Independent churches in Zimbabwe and Botswana) and Jean Comaroff (1985), who tries to situate the Zion Christian Church on both sides of the Botswana-South African border, among the Tchidi Barolong people, in terms of the processes of socio-economic and political change hinted at above. The all-pervading therapeutic dimension of the African Independent churches earned them a substantial discussion in Staugård’s book on Traditional healers in Botswana (1985), which however is necessarily limited by that author’s uniquely medical concerns and frame of reference.Tshambani (1979) made an unpublished study of the Francistown Vapostori, and Parsons (1970) discussed Independency in the early colonial period. More passing references are available in such works as Schapera (1984) and Picard (1987: 126-128). In my own recent work, based on field-work in Botswana’s second largest town, Francistown, near the country’s northeastern border with Zimbabwe, I am contrasting the therapeutic potential of the African Independent churches as active in that town, with that of the region’s more explicitly ‘traditional’ religious forms (the Mwali cult — famous through the writings of Ranger, Daneel, Werbner and others[15] — and the mediumistic sangoma cult; van Binsbergen 1990a; also cf. 1991 and 1993b); also I have sought to explain why even in a context saturated with ethnic conflict, like that of Francistown, the extent of ethnic reference in the local African Independent churches has remained at such a remarkably low level (van Binsbergen 1990b).

                        My argument in the present paper situates itself at the national level of Botswana, and tries to arrive at a comprehensive view of that country’s African Independent churches in their relation with the post-colonial state. Various complementary venues of enquiry would be open for such a project. One could look at patterns of mass mobilization, and trace mutually exclusive or overlapping participation of the people of Botswana in activities and organizations as defined, staffed and maintained by the state and the various churches respectively. Alternatively, one could spell out the explicit and implied world-views, the domains of symbolic associations and oppositions, as contained in the political and religious idioms proffered by the state and the churches; a necessary step in such an undertaking would be, of course, to ascertain the range of variation and the patterns and mechanisms of convergence, if any, between the various African Independent churches. A third approach, and the one on which I shall concentrate in this paper, is to define a locus of actual interaction between the state and the African Independent churches, setting out the institutional framework for such interaction and tracing the process through which, within that framework but determined by it to only a limited degree, a political process evolves between state and African Independent churches as parallel and perhaps rival idioms and bodies of power in contemporary society.

                        Following in the footsteps of Leny Lagerwerf in her pioneering study almost a decade ago (1982), I believe to have identified such a focus in the office of, and in the legislation surrounding, the Botswana Registrar of Societies. Churches are societies in the sense of the Societies Act which was enacted in Botswana in 1972. As stated in the Societies Act, section 3:

 ‘(...)

‘‘society’’ includes any club, company, partnership or association of ten or more persons, whatever its nature or objects, but does not include —

(a)  any company as defined by the Companies Act (...)

(b)  any company or association constituted under any written law for the time being in force in Botswana;

(c)  any trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act.

(d)  any company, association or partnership consisting of not more than 20 persons, formed for the sole purpose of carrying on any lawful business;

(e)  any co-operative society, registered under the Co-operative Societies Act;

(f)   any board of governors, local education authority, school committee or similar organization established under the Education Act;

(g)  any building society registered under the Building Societies Act;

(h)  any political party listed in the Schedule; or

(i)   any society or class of society which the Minister may, by order published in the Gazette. declare not to be a society for the purpose of this Act.’

                        All churches operating within the Botswana are required to apply for registration or for exemption from registration as the case may be. In the process basic data on these societies are collected and stored in the Registrar of Societies’ office in the Botswana capital of Gaborone, were they are in principle open to public consultation under the law.[16]

                        The juridical regime applying to churches in Botswana under the Societies Act (and this act is reminiscent of similar ones in operation throughout anglophone Africa) must be appreciated against the background of the constitutional provision for the ‘protection of freedom of conscience’, section II.11 of the constitution of Botswana (Republic of Botswana 1983 etc.):

 ‘11 (1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes freedom of thought and of religion, freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.’

The, fairly standard, limitative conditions stipulated further down in the same section provide the constitutional basis both for the Societies Act and for some of the general injunctions which the Registrar of Societies imposes on churches in the context of their registration:

 ‘II.11.(5) Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision which is reasonably required—

 (a) in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or

 (b) for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons, including the right to observe and practice any religion without the unsolicited intervention of members of any other religion,

and except in so far as that provision or, as the case may be, the thing done under the authority thereof is shown not to be reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.’

                        It should be borne in mind, meanwhile, that state-church interaction in Botswana did not begin with the adoption of the Constitution of the Societies Act. The history of African Independent churches in Botswana — most of which remains to be written — has largely been the history of confrontation between these churches and the encapsulated neo-traditional tribal administrations seeking to uphold the monopoly of the one brand of cosmopolitan Christianity they had allowed within their territory, and considering church independency as an act of political subversion orientated not so much against the colonial state but against the kgotla (tribal headquarters). Even although the legal basis is now totally different, the Registrar of Societies unmistakably operates within the authoritarian and restrictive tradition of these colonial precedents.

                        National-level documentary evidence from that context will be used to augment, and put in the proper perspective, such inevitably limited observations and insights as I have derived from participation in Francistown African Independent churches since 1988. Meanwhile, the essentially qualitative (and therefore often fragmentary and arbitrary) approaches from documentary sources and participant observation[17] need to be backed by some quantitative argument, which helps to assess the scope of our object of study against the general background of Botswana society today. I would have wished that such a quantitative background were available from other sources. Now that this is not the case, the next section will be devoted to an extremely preliminary quantitative analysis of churches in Botswana, and particularly African Independent churches.

                        Ever since David Barrett’s Schism and renewal in Africa (1968), which was based on statistical analyses most students of African Independency neither appreciated nor were in a position to check, quantitative approaches to this type of religious phenomena are regarded with a mixture of suspicion and amusement: ‘one does not really want to suggest that anything meaningful and profound can come from counting, especially not in its contemporary form of computer cabbalism’. Yet in general, quantitative approaches have proved useful starting points in the sociology of religious organizations; but they should of course lead on to more penetrating qualitative approaches in which the dehumanizing effect of reducing religious subjects and their creations to mere entries in a data set, is overcome by a genuine encounter between human subjects, one of whom is the analyst.



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[1]       Field-work was conducted in November 1988 to October 1989, August-September 1990, June-July 1991, May 1992, October 1992 and February, 1994, in Francistown and rural communities in Botswana’s North-East District, with a short excursion into southwestern Zimbabwe, and consultation of government files in Gaborone. I am greatly indebted to the Applied Research Unit, Ministry of Local Government and Lands, Republic of Botswana, for their hospitality extended to me as a visiting researcher; to the African Studies Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands, for leave of absence and research funds; to my wife and children for whole-heartedly sharing in the field-work; to Chuke Amos, Ennie Maphakwane, Edward Mpoloka, Joshua Ndlovu, Dikeledi Moyo and Rebecca Siska for research assistance; to church leaders, adherents, ritual leaders, adepts, neighbours, friends, and respondents in the Francistown region; to officials both in Francistown and Gaborone. Under the Botswana Societies Act (Republic of Botswana 1977: section 30), the records of the Registrar of Societies are open for consultation by the public, and I am greatly indebted to the Registrar of Societies and individual officers for facilitating my perusal of the files in every conceivable way. Finally I wish to express gratitude to Matthew Schoffeleers, Robert Buijtenhuijs, Bonno Thoden van Velsen and Emile van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal for valuable comments made on an earlier draft, which was presented at the conference on ‘Power and Prayer’, Institute for the Study of Politics and Religion, Free University, Amsterdam, 10-14 December 1990. A much shortened version of the present argument, without any of the statistical analyses on which it is largely based, appeared as van Binsbergen 1993a in a collective volume entitled Power and prayer: Essays on religion and politics, VU [ Free University ] University Press, eds. Mart Bax & Adrianus Koster.

[2]       Cf. Cliffe 1984; Crowder 1988; Decraene 1985; Holm et al. 1978; Magang 1986; Parson 1984; Parsons 1988; Picard 1987.

[3]       Sources include The Guardian (Gaborone), 20.8.90, and author’s field-notes.

[4]       This would suggest, as an interesting hypothesis for further research, that sorcery is less prevalent among the Kalanga than among the various Tswana groups in Botswana today.

[5]       Republic of Botswana 1983 etc.

[6]       Here, Batswana will mean ‘citizens of Botswana’; members of the ethnic group of the Tswana within Botswana will be identified as ‘Tswana’.

[7]       For the impact of popular participation in such non-state foci upon the democratic process, cf. Shaw 1990 and references cited there.

[8]       For related arguments, cf. Holm & Somolokae 1988; Molutsi 1988a, 1988b; Molutsi & Holm 1990

[9]       Cf. Bayart 1988; Geschiere 1986, 1990; for related discussions, cf. Doornbos 1990; Rothchild & Chazan 1988.

[10]     Of the latter danger, perhaps the insistence of African Independent churches’ acquiescence vis-ā-vis the state appears to form a case in point; cf. below, conclusion.

[11]     Laws of Botswana, chapter 18:01, Societies, Gaborone: Government Printer, 1/1977. Date of Commencement 9th June, 1972, pp. 1-14. Also in the same 1977 edition: S.I. 3, 1973: ‘Societies Act, Registration of Societies Regulations (under section 33) (5th January, 1973): Arrangement of regulations’, pp. A.1-3. And schedules (prescribed forms), notably Form A: ‘Application for registration or exemption from registration of a society’ (pp. A.4-5); Form B: ‘Certificate of registration’ (p. A.5); Form C: ‘Certificate of exemption from registration’ (p. A.6); Form D: ‘Notification of rescission of exemption’ (p. A.6); Form E: ‘Notification of cancellation of registration’ (p. A.6); Form F: ‘Notice of change of a society’s name or registered office or postal address, or change of constitution or rules, or variation of objects’ (p. A.7-8); Form G: ‘Notice of change of office-bearers’ (p. A.9-10); Form H: ‘Annual return’ (p. A.10-11). And finally, on p. A.12: ‘Second schedule (reg. 21) Prescribed Fees’, setting application fee at P5.00, for search and examination of registers of registered societies at P0.25; of copy of or extract from any document in the custody of the Registrar, per folio of 100 words, P0.25; and certified true copy of or extract from any such document, per folio of 100 words, P0.50.

[12]     From the voluminous literature, e.g. Bhebe 1979; Comaroff 1985; Daneel 1971, 1974, 1988; Fogelqvist 1988; Kiernan 1984, 1987; Oosthuizen 1968; Oosthuizen et al 1989; Schoffeleers 1988, 1991; Sundkler 1970, 1976; and references cited there.

[13]     Registrar of Societies, file H28/40/92: Independent Church of Francistown.

[14]     By analogy with the more accepted term of cosmopolitan medicine, I use the term of cosmopolitan churches to denote Christian religious organizations which — however well established locally — by virtue of their name, doctrine and liturgy, internal organization, and their participation in international structures of representation and funding, clearly belong to well-established international and more typically intercontinental movements and bodies within the Christian faith. The Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Dutch Reformed Church, Lutheran Churches, Baptist churches, the Jehova’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints etc. are cosmopolitan churches in terms of this definition. The distinction between church, sect and cult (Troeltsch 1931; Johnson 1966: 419f) — whose reference seems to be more specifically to denominational relations in North Atlantic society — cuts across this usage.

[15]     Cf. Werbner 1989; Ranger 1979, 1985; Schoffeleers & Mwanza 1979; Daneel 1970; Mtutuki 1976; and references cited there.

[16]     Societies Act, section 5b.

[17]     Extensive quantitative data of churches were also collected as part of my social survey of Francistown, but their processing is still being undertaken.


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